What a week. M’s eldest sister arrived from Hervey Bay on Tuesday, after we had a weekend full of people staying over and then the 2nd birthday of Small E on an action packed Puffing Billy ride. It was great to see M’s sister, who came primarily to make an acquaintance with Small Z – her niece.
We had not all seen each other since 2006. I was in awe of her escaping her committments to her grandchildren and the restaurant and aquarium to spend five days in the arse end of nowhere. It was lovely. Small Z got lots of presents, which helped the bonding process no end! On Friday night M and Jan stole across the road and quickly and painlessly removed a small pine branch, and brought it home to stand in the hall. Small Z’s first Christmas Tree!!
It was odd how quickly she took to it. She cantered around it making us sing Jingle Bells while Jan decked it out in her streamers made from Christmas paper. We hung the two glass angels that she had given Small Z and I, and added in some old fake pearls of my grandma’s and a ‘silver’ fairy wand of Small Z’s for the top. She thought it was heaven.
Saturday we drove to the city via Hampton, where M picked up a slide he had bought on eBay. As Jan had to leave early Sunday morning (7.30am) we had booked a cheap hotel room for Saturday night to avoid driving into the city, back out, and then back in to the airport…and home again. What we booked were two queen beds. We assumed they were in separate rooms. We assumed wrong.
After a day schlepping around. Lots of time in the car. Some time on a tram. We met up with M’s other sister, who happened to be in Melbourne (she lives in Sydney). Small Z got more presents! We hit a cafe and then spent an hour or so in the garden near the fountain near Parliament House on Spring Street. It seems that not only do a lot of people get married on Saturday – they also appear to be obsessed by having their photographs taken right near where we were sitting…
We walked back toward Flinders Street Station via Fed Square and the book market. We stopped for more refreshments and were happy to see the Box Hill Community Arts Centre Choir performing! Small Z was particularly happy with this. (I love the bit at the very last frame where she throws her hands into the air…)
M, Small Z, Jan and I said goodbye to M and Jan’s other sister, Yvonne and her partner and then got a tram back to our hotel. The one with two queen beds. In the Same. Room. Small Z was exhausted from the day and conked almost straightaway. M had brought in some beer and wine, so Jan and I sipped some white as we watched (some very relaxing) trashy television. Small Z slumbered throughout.
However. The night was fraught after we all got into bed. M later reported that he thought Jan snored all night ‘like a banshee’, and this kept waking Small Z up. I didn’t hear any of that, but I was woken by Small Z about a million times, and by 4am we all gave up any pretense of sleeping. M was bitten by a grumpy, sleep deprived bug and said something to Jan like;
“How about I drive you to the airport now?”
“But it’s FOUR in the MORNING? My flight isn’t until seven thirty?!”
“Well, there’s an ISSUE with SNORING and it keeps waking Z up…”
I dived under the doona and pretended nothing was happening. M took himself off to stand under the shower. Jan got up and began getting her stuff together. They left at about 5am. I couldn’t help feeling that after a lovely week together, M had sabotaged the lot with a badly calculated swipe. She ended up at the airport at FIVE THIRTY in the morning TWO HOURS before her flight. Oh, the shame.
M returned bearing fruit salad containing grapes, moments after Small Z (who had deigned to slumber between 5.30am and 6.30am) had squawked, “We go HOME now? We go home? Take Zoe-zie HOME to eat some GRAPES?”
We all ate fruit salad in bed for a while, M and I discussing the extent of his faux pas…
“We didn’t talk much on the way to the airport,” he said, musing over a strawberry.
“What about when you go there and stuff?” I asked. “Did you go for a coffee?”
“Um.” said M, spearing another grape, “Noooo. She told me not to bother parking and I just left her out the front.”
I felt the fingers of creeping doom, and cringed back into the pillow. Evil M. I let Evil M have a hour of sleep by taking Small Z into the bathroom and playing in the bath. Later that day he rang Jan and apologised for being an insensitive sod. Thank god. I was afraid that Small Z would not see her aunty again until she was about seventeen.